Clinical Edge

Summaries of Must-Read Clinical Literature, Guidelines, and FDA Actions

Cannabis Legalization & Opioid Therapy Compliance

Am J Med; ePub 2018 Nov 10; Lo, et al

In patients treated with opioid therapy for chronic pain, the legalization of recreational cannabis does not affect compliance rate, a new study found. Researchers conducted a retrospective cohort study on results from a “high-risk” urine drug testing panel. Results from 1 year before and 1 year after initiation of recreational cannabis legislation were analyzed. The testing panel included qualitative assays for cannabinoids and 9 other common drugs of abuse, in addition to a quantitative LC-MS/MS assay for 23 different opioids and metabolites. They found:

  • In the pre-legalization period, 1,776 panels were performed; 1,648 panels were performed post-legalization.
  • An increase in the rate of positive cannabinoid results was observed after legalization of recreational cannabis.
  • However, the overall compliance rate was consistent.


Lo SY, Winston-McPherson GN, Starosta AJ, et al. Cannabis legalization does not influence patient compliance with opioid therapy. [Published online ahead of print November 10, 2018]. Am J Med. doi:10.1016/j.amjmed.2018.11.002.

This Week's Must Reads

Intensive BP Control & Risk of Dementia, JAMA; ePub 2019 Jan 28; SPRINT MIND Investigators

Outpatient Care for Adults With Primary Care, JAMA Intern Med; ePub 2019 Jan 28; Levine, et al

Antibiotic Therapy in Patients with Asthma, JAMA Intern Med; ePub 2019 Jan 28; Stefan, et al

Outpatient Benzodiazepine Prescribing in US, JAMA Netw Open; 2019 Jan 25; Agarwal, et al

Reduction of Readmissions Through Primary Care, JAMA Netw Open; 2019 Jan 25; Wiest, et al

Must Reads in Pain

Trends in Pain Prevalence in US Adults, J Pain; ePub 2019 Jan 15; Nahin, et al

Prescribed Opioids & Risk of CAP in Patients with HIV, JAMA Intern Med; 2019 Jan 7; Edelman, et al

Opioid-Involved Overdose Deaths in the US, MMWR; 2019 Jan 4; Scholl, Seth, et al

Dental Opioid Prescriptions & Subsequent Abuse, JAMA Intern Med; ePub 2018 Dec 3; Schroeder, et al

Risk of Opioid Overdose Hospitalizations , J Am Board Fam Med; 2018 Nov-Dec; Peters, et al